Director: Vince Brady
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Keywords: Shakespeare, comedy
Watched: 31 July, 2016
I'm familiar with most of Shakespeare's plays,
but not only had I never seen Cymbeline before today,
I knew nothing about it.
While the performance we saw was enjoyable,
I began to see why it's one of the lesser-known plays.
It's one of Shakespeare's later, minor comedies,
with such familiar elements as
a crossdressing heroine,
confused and separated lovers,
false accusations of infidelity,
a knavish villain who gets his comeuppance,
and a loyal servant.
It's easy to see a tired Shakespeare
trotting out yet another comedy to amuse the groundlings.
We saw the Greenstage production at the scenic Lake Wilderness …continue.
Title: Shakespeare in an Hour
Author: Christopher Baker
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Smith & Kraus
Keywords: drama, history
Reading period: 28 July–1 August, 2010
Quick, readable intro to Shakespeare's life and plays,
setting him in the context of the religious and political turmoils
of the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras.
You can't do justice to Shakespeare in an hour, of course,
Most useful if you didn't already know anything about him or his work.
I saw Greenstage's production of Titus Andronicus on Sunday night.
Normally, this is Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy,
but Greenstage chose to play it as a dark comedy.
It's still bloody, extremely bloody, blood everywhere,
spurting from severed wrists,
spraying from cut throats,
shooting over the stage
(and some of the audience).
The first twenty minutes were very confusing.
The actors spoke their lines very quickly and I had a hard time
tuning in to what they were saying and what was happening.
Then either they slowed down or I tuned in,
but it started making sense,
inasmuch as Titus Andronicus can ever make sense.
I've seen Greenstage do comedies and straight tragedies.
Here they hammed it …continue.
I mentioned three weeks ago that I was putting together a group of people
to see Greenstage's production of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors
at the Seward Park Amphitheater.
Six of us braved the rain last night,
ate our picnic, and enjoyed an hour and a half of ribald slapstick.
Almost all of the cast cross-dressed.
The main male parts, the two sets of identical twin brothers, were played by women,
The wife, her sister, and the courtesan were played by ugly men
in the best panto dame tradition.
The play, like so many of Shakespeare's comedies,
requires an endless series of confused identities,
which could be cleared up in moments
if only …continue.
Greenstage continue their Shakespeare in the Park this year
with performances of King John and Comedy of Errors
at a number of Seattle-area parks over the summer.
Emma and I enjoyed their Twelfth Night at Seward Park last year.
Best of all, it's free!
The play starts at 7:00pm.
Come at 5:00 and have a picnic with us near the Amphitheater.
Bring food that's ready to eat—the Seward Park PCC is less than a mile away.
There's some seating but you might want to bring your own chairs.
If you come even earlier, Seward Park is worth a trip in its own right.
Old growth forest trails and a 2.5 …continue.
I've slowly been working my way through Shakespeare's Kings (recommended),
so when I realized that Henry IV was playing at the
Seattle Shakespeare Company, I decided to go.
It's an adaptation of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2.
Henry IV usurped the crown from his cousin Richard II.
The crown sits uneasily upon his head, rebellion is brewing,
and his heir, Prince Hal (the future Henry V),
is a wastrel who carouses with thieves like the fat rogue Falstaff.
Hal, Falstaff, Henry IV, and Harry Hotspur (the rebel leader)
are the central characters in this play.
Hal's dissolution is compared unfavorably to Hotspur's chivalry.
He must redeem himself in his …continue.
My opera education continues. Tonight, we saw
Seattle Opera's production of Verdi's MacBeth.
I used to be very familiar with
having studied it for two years in preparation for the
(the major examination at the end of Irish secondary school;
effectively the entrance exam for university).
Verdi's opera of MacBeth
truncates Shakespeare's plot, concentrating on the tragic flaw of the
MacBeths. Their shared ambition, feeding off each other, both impels them
to power, and leads to their ultimate downfall. The opera was written
during the Risorgimento,
when Italy was trying to break away from the Austrian empire, and doubles
as a thinly veiled appeal to Italian patriotism.
I had more fun …continue.